If My Cholesterol Is Low. Do I Have To Worry About Heart Disease?

Question: If My Cholesterol Is Low, Do I Have To Worry About Heart Disease?

Answer: A person can still develop coronary artery disease, Peripheral Arterial Disease, which means narrowing of the arteries in the legs, or Carotid Disease, narrowing of the neck arteries -- even if their cholesterol is low. Those individuals typically have abnormal breakdown of the different fractions. They may have a low HDL, and thus a lower-than-average total cholesterol, or they may have a higher triglyceride with a low HDL cholesterol.

So it's very important to go over with your doctor what the whole cholesterol profile looks like. So you can have a total cholesterol that appears normal, less than 200, but it still may predispose you to develop hardening of the arteries, especially if the good HDL is low.

Next: Can My Cholesterol Be Too Low?

Photo: Roger Blumenthal
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